Mobile Apps Can be a Highly Effective Way to Discover and Learn New Vocabulary
Think about how lucky students are these days. They can use different technologies to access knowledge at any time. Teachers are constantly trying to introduce technology in the classroom, so they encourage the students to be creative with the way they use it. For a modern student, the ability to include online resources in the educational process opens opportunities for discovering the best way to study, grow, and memorize information.
When we’re trying to think of all the ways the Internet can be used, fun is not the only thing that comes to mind. Of course we rely on different websites and social networks as a way to relax in our free time, but we also use them when we want to access information and obtain any kind of knowledge. There is one particular device that helps you learn better and train your memory at any time. Think about it: it’s your smartphone. When you install the right apps, this device can perfectly support your studies.
The process of memorizing vocabulary, in particular, gets much more effective when you rely on your phone. Continue reading; we’ll list 7 reasons why you should use mobile apps when learning new vocabulary. In addition to the why, we’ll give you a how, too!
1. You can use mobile apps on the move
Do you commute to school and back every day? You may be using a car, train, bus, bike, the subway, or any other transportation method to get to school. How do you use that time? Are you listening to music or leaving your thoughts to wander away? It’s time to start using every single moment more effectively. Download vocabulary-building apps and practice while you’re on the move. Here are few suggestions of apps you can use:
- English with Lingualeo – an app that’s available for Android and iOS You can use it to learn new English words every day, and practice your vocabulary skills through grammar exercises. You can also use it to read articles and watch TED talks with subtitles. Through those activities, you’ll intuitively learn new words.
- Quizlet – an app that will improve your memory. It works on the principle of digital flashcards. You can create your own flashcards or use some of the available collections from the Quizlet library. When you create flashcards with visual presentation of the new words you learn, it will be much easier for you to memorize them. Plus, you can do all this while traveling to school.
2. Your phone is a great reading device
It doesn’t take much effort for you to understand and remember new words through reading. You see how they fit in the context of the sentence, so when you take a look at the dictionary you usually react with: aha, I knew it! Thanks to your phone, you can read anywhere, anytime. Here are some apps that help you do that:
- Kindle – it’s the classic eBook reading app that most people use. It’s pretty intuitive and easy to get used to. You can buy eBooks directly through your phone, but Kindle also gives you a nice selection of free eBooks. The app will sync your library and bookmarks, so you can switch between devices without wondering where you stopped.
- Google Play Books – this app had many flaws when it first came out, but it evolved and it’s now one of the most convenient eBook reading apps you can use on an Android device. You can upload EPUB and PDF files, which means you can scan your textbooks and have them in your phone.
- iBooks – it’s the usual choice for iOS users. iBooks is a simple app that does what you need it to do: it gives you access to a great deal of books and it enables you to read them at any time.
3. Social media is useful, too
Be honest: what do you mostly use your smartphone for? Is it for scrolling through social media and posting your own updates? There’s no need to feel guilty about it. This can be an educational activity when you approach it the right way.
- Twitter, for example, can connect you with the coolest personalities on the globe. Famous writers, actors, and athletes use this platform on a daily basis. You can get inspired by them and learn something new along the way. The feed itself is a source of new words that will help you build your vocabulary. Be careful; don’t get too used to the shortcuts, which are so popular with this network. When you notice abbreviations you don't recognize, it's an opportunity to figure out the full words or search for the meaning of an acronym on line.
4. Games can help you learn
Among all those apps in your phone, there are games that are pure joy to play. When it comes to learning and memory boosting, you can still rely on games. No, we’re not talking about Angry Birds. We’re talking about educational games that encourage mental activities. These are only few of the many you can try:
- Star Walk 2 – you can turn the sky into your learning platform thanks to this app. Point the phone towards the sky and you’ll get real-time views and info on the stars, constellations, and other celestial bodies you target. You can play this game with your friends: find a certain constellation. Then, the app will show you its location, and you’ll have a winner. Plus, you’ll learn new information about the word that surrounds you, and some smart words along the way.
- The Elements – an app that will show you how amazing the periodic table is. It’s an engaging story for the elements, presented through words and images. Tap an element and the app will show you its importance in the world that surrounds you.
5. You can listen to audiobooks
We already talked about the importance of reading. Books are important not only for your intellectual progress, but for vocabulary building as well. Audiobooks are even better! You won’t make your eyes tired, and you’ll get the pronunciation right from the very first time.
- Audiobooks – this iOS app gives you access to thousands of free audiobooks. All you need to do is make a pick and start listening to a narrator at any time.
- Luminosity – an app that gives you a collection of brain-training games. It only takes 5 minutes per day for you to go through the games, which are designed to improve your memory and cognitive skills.
- Audio Books by Audiobooks – if you have an iOS device but you don’t like the previous app, you can try this one. It connects to iTunes to give you access to the hottest titles in the form of audiobooks.
- Audible – this app is available for both Android and iOS It gives you access to the Amazon collection of audiobooks, which means you can start listening to the hottest titles of any genre.
6. YouTube is a world of knowledge
The YouTube app on your Android or iOS device is great for watching cat videos when you have nothing else to do. There’s something even better to watch: educational videos. You can watch a documentary on any topic that interests you. You can watch travel guides, all types of tutorials, or your favorite films. You can even learn a foreign language through YouTube videos.
7. You always have your music with you
You have Deezer, Google Play Music, Spotify, Apple Music, and many other choices of apps that give you instant access to the music you love. Plus you have YouTube, too. Listening to music is a great way to get exposed to new words and their uses through your favorite lyrics (and yes, some songwriters are much more sophisticated with their writing than others).
There are many different ways to use a smartphone to learn and understanding new words and their meaning in context. These practices are useful not only for students, but for teachers as well. Educators can put those phones to use with classwork and assignments (here's 44 of them to check out!), and boost the engagement of their students. It’s a win-win situation.